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Senate Dismisses Impeachment Charges Against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas

The Senate has dismissed all impeachment charges against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, effectively concluding the House Republicans’ attempt to oust him over his management of the U.S.-Mexico border. This decision came before formal arguments could be presented, with Senate votes of 51-48 and 51-49 to drop each of the two impeachment articles. The articles had accused Mayorkas of failing to enforce immigration laws and falsely asserting the security of the border.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer emphasized that the accusations did not rise to the constitutionally required level of “high crimes and misdemeanors” and warned of setting a precarious precedent. “For the sake of the Senate’s integrity and to preserve the impeachment process for truly necessary cases, today’s charges should be dismissed,” Schumer stated during the session’s opening.

Despite the House’s narrow vote to impeach Mayorkas in February, citing his alleged systematic refusal to uphold immigration laws, the quick Senate dismissal marks a significant setback for House Republicans and Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., who had prioritized the impeachment.

This dismissal holds considerable political implications in a presidential election year, with border security being a contentious issue. Republicans have criticized President Joe Biden for what they perceive as lenient border policies, pointing to a spike in illegal crossings, which exceeded 2 million in the last two years but have recently declined from a record high. Conversely, Democrats argue that Republicans should have supported a bipartisan Senate proposal designed to reduce illegal immigration instead of pursuing impeachment.

The charges were formally delivered to the Senate by House impeachment managers who read them aloud but were not given an opportunity to argue their case. The historical significance of the trial, marking the first impeachment of a Cabinet secretary in nearly 150 years, was noted but contrasted with the routine proceedings that followed, similar to those of former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trials in 2020 and 2021.

As the trial commenced, senators adhered to tradition by signing an oath book in groups of four, a document that is preserved in the National Archives. Despite the traditional elements, the Senate had not prepared the chamber for an extended trial, indicating an almost certain quick dismissal of the charges.

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